The Lotto Federation League takes a week off this weekend, much to the relief of New Plymouth Rangers. After a promising start to the season, a tough fortnight has left Rangers in the middle of the pack, 6 points adrift of leaders North End. The break will be a good chance to regroup and work on a few aspects of their game and bounce back when they play away to Massey University on the 19th of May.
So what a perfect time to focus on the top of the table clash in the Smiths Sports Shoes Taranaki Mens Premiership. New Plymouth Rangers Reserves travel across town to play league leaders Moturoa who are unbeaten this season, as well as last. It will be a big challenge for the Rangers squad, still missing several key players who are overseas at a wedding, but it is that challenge that they thrive on. Rangers have won four on the trot and will be confident that they can compete and possibly topple the champions. The wins have come as a result of strong defiant defending led by towering captain Gordon Davenport and the tactical nous of coaches Juliano Schmeling and Daryl Foreman. As an added motivation, Moturoa hold the Premier Challenge Trophy so if Rangers can get the win they can take the trophy back to Merrilands with them.
Also in a Challenge Trophy match, our women’s team play Waitara on Sunday in a 2nd v 3rd fixture. Waitara are the defending champions and are unbeaten in the league but did lose in pre-season to Rangers. It wasn’t long ago Rangers were a bottom of the table team, struggling to pick up a point or two all year and now they are scoring goals for fun. New recruit Paige Adams has been in hot form in front of goal, netting 12 times already with a remarkable 6 in one game. She leads the club golden boot comfortably so if anyone wants some tips on how it’s done get along and support.
Rangers 3rds have opened up a 5 point lead at the top of the Championship. Also playing Moturoa, Rangers will be at full strength and looking to build on their strong stable foundation. Whilst not scoring a lot of goals, or destroying teams, they have consistently controlled the games and have taken the maximum points. They have done so whilst supporting the prems team with players to fill gaps each week. Dont miss this game
Rangers 4ths, otherwise known as the Oddbodz, are joint top of Division One on 12 points, however they have played one game less. They play Kaponga who are also on 12 points away which will be an early season defining game. Kaponga have scored 37 goals already whilst the Oddbodz have only conceded 3. This one is too tight to call.
Rangers 5ths are away to Peringa and will want leading goalscorer Will Hong to be on his game if they are to move into the top 4.